Staying Active keeps the Body Young and Healthy according to Researchers at the University of Birmingham and King's College London.
The new research showed that Older people who have Exercised Regularly throughout life have Defied the Aging Process, having the Immunity, Muscle Mass, and Cholesterol levels of a Young Person.
The study recruited 125 amateur cyclists aged 55 to 79, 84 of which were male and 41 were female. The men had to be able to cycle 100 km in under 6.5 hours, while the women had to be able to cycle 60 km in 5.5 hours. Smokers, heavy drinkers and those with high blood pressure or other health conditions were excluded from the study.
MUSCLE MASS & STRENGTH, CHOLESTEROL
The study showed that loss of muscle mass and strength did not occur in those who exercise regularly. The cyclists also did not increase their body fat or cholesterol levels with age and the men's testosterone levels also remained high, suggesting that they may have avoided most of the male menopause.
'YOUNG' IMMUNE SYSTEM
More surprisingly, the study also revealed that the benefits of exercise extend beyond muscle as the cyclists also had an immune system that did not seem to have aged either.
An organ called the thymus, which makes immune cells called T cells, starts to shrink from the age of 20 and makes less T cells. In this study, however, the cyclists' thymuses were making as many T cells as those of a young person.
The findings come as figures show that less than half of over 65s do enough exercise to stay healthy and more than half of those aged over 65 suffer from at least two diseases.*
BEST MEDICINE : HIPPOCRATES
Professor Janet Lord, Director of the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing at the University of Birmingham, said: "Hippocrates in 400 BC said that exercise is man's best medicine, but his message has been lost over time and we are an increasingly sedentary society.
"However, importantly, our findings debunk the assumption that ageing automatically makes us more frail.
Ross D. Pollock, Katie A. O'Brien, Lorna J. Daniels, Kathrine B. Nielsen, Anthea Rowlerson, Niharika A. Duggal, Norman R. Lazarus, Janet M. Lord, Andrew Philp, Stephen D. R. Harridge. Properties of the vastus lateralis muscle in relation to age and physiological function in master cyclists aged 55-79 years. Aging Cell, 2018; e12735 DOI: 10.1111/acel.12735 Duggal et al. Major features of Immunesenescence, including Thymic atrophy, are ameliorated by high levels of physical activity in adulthood. Aging Cell, 2018, and www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180308143123.htm... See moreSee less